Do you guys remember funnel ball? Funnel ball is a game that is played at a park or playground. You throw a ball up into a basket-like thing and there is a funnel that the ball comes through and you get points based on where the ball comes out. You could get two, four, six, or eight points depending on whether the funnel has two, three or four exit zones. The goal is to be the first to get to a particular number. When you throw your ball in, if it comes out the eight, you get eight points. The goal would be to get to twenty-one or whatever number you choose. There are no real rules. I looked it up online. You simply just make your own rules, throw the ball in the funnel, and have fun. You could have a rule where you throw the ball up and if you catch the ball when it comes out, then you get the points. If nobody catches it, nobody gets the points. Or you can just throw it in get the points based on wherever it comes out.
Funnel ball is a cool little kid’s game, but marketing funnels are very random things and that’s the way that people treat them. Now, there are two different kinds of funnels. There’s a marketing funnel and there’s a sales funnel. In a marketing funnel, you get people into the funnel, and then you try to get them out in a particular direction to a specific product or service. A sales funnel is pretty much the same thing, but you’re trying to get them to purchase a specific product or service. Now, from what I’ve seen from many people in multiple companies, their marketing and sales funnels look like Rube Goldberg machines. If you don’t know what a Rube Goldberg machine is, it’s this very concocted thing where you start a ball and it rolls down a hill and it knocks over a card, and then something drops down and hits a fulcrum, and then knocks another ball … it is just all over the place.
Sales and Marketing Funnels
What I want to do today is talk about sales and marketing funnels, narrow it down and give it some scope. The reason I’m doing this is because I was at a conference and there was a lot of talk about marketing funnels. One person said, “Okay, here’s how you do a funnel.” What you do is you have what’s known as a trip wire. It’s a dollar or free with shipping kind of thing, and you get people to purchase something first. This will be somebody that you know is going to purchase in the future or probably has a more likely chance to purchase in the future. Maybe you give away a freemium. Now, a freemium could be an eBook, a video or a lot of different things. You give the freemium, and now you’re getting these people on your list.
That’s more of a marketing funnel thing, where you get people into your list. I just gave away a $27 product for free, and I got hundreds of people on my list, but then when I emailed them they didn’t know who I was. They don’t have any value into what I gave them. There are a few that do, but most of them just got the free item and moved on. Maybe selling something up front might be the right way to do it.
Let’s break it down. First and foremost, every funnel has to have a goal, just like when you’re playing funnel ball. You have to have some kind of goal. The first person who gets to twenty-one wins, right? Or maybe it’s ten or eleven or whatever the number that you pick. You have got to have a goal. I look at it as a series of funnels to do a series of things.
Let’s start off with a basic funnel for a heating and air conditioning company, because I love those guys. Obviously, they would love to sell a furnace or an air conditioner. Maybe to get people into their funnel, they offer a special where they’ll do a dryer vent cleaning for $69. They do this dryer vent cleaning and basically what they do is they suck out all the lint and dust and everything in there so it doesn’t catch fire, which is a good idea. It may start with doing a blog post about dryer vent cleaning, and then inside of that blog post, there is a coupon for a $99 dryer vent cleaning on special for only $69.
You’re hoping that people are reading that. They click on the coupon, they call you up, and now all of a sudden they’re into your system. When you’re finished with the dryer vent cleaning, you hand the person another coupon and say, “Hey, if you would like an air conditioning special, we will first inspect it. Then we will add Freon and make sure everything’s working fine. This is an $89 special which is normally $250.” Now they have a coupon where they can possibly purchase something. You work on the air conditioner, and nine times out of ten, it’s fine. Since you’ve already worked on it, put your sticker on it, then you’ve built up that reputation because you’ve done the dryer vent too. You’ve done the basic service and cleaning, so if the air conditioner goes down, who are they likely to call? You, because you’ve been there a couple of times, you’ve established trust, and if and when they need an air conditioner, you’re going to be the first person they’re going to call!
That’s what a funnel looks like. You start off with something basic, then you add something to it, and then you get them to the end result. Now, it is a true funnel. Just think about this. You’re putting oil into your car, right? The funnel is this big round thing at the top, and it’s got a little nozzle at the bottom, and the whole purpose of that is to make it easier to take a lot of stuff and get it through to that end result. Marketing funnels, a lot of times, are set up like that where your goal is to get them to that high-ticket product. That is the end result. That’s what we want to do. In some cases, you’re better off figuring out step-by-step goals in between and incrementally getting people to go through each one of those steps.
Now, let’s take this to another angle. Obviously, if you’re doing air conditioning, there’s a funnel for that. If you’re doing heating, there’s a funnel for that. Maybe instead of doing dryer vent cleaning, you’re doing duct cleaning. That’s where all the heating and air conditioning goes through, so you have a duct cleaning special where you’re cleaning out all the dust and the mites and the junk that’s sitting in there. Then maybe you offer them a service contract or a monthly maintenance agreement or whatever it is that you want to do. Ultimately, you’re going in there and constantly looking at their systems for them. When they need a furnace, boom, who’s the first person they’re going to call? It’s going to be you, because they’ve already established that they know, like and trust you.
A Funnel Of Funnels
If you think about it, you have an air conditioning funnel and a furnace funnel, and there could be other funnels. A lot of times, these can get as complex as a Rube Goldberg machine, but every funnel has an opening where you draw people in. It has some kind of action that you want them to do. It could be a trip wire or they buy something for a buck. It could be that they buy a $27 product and you do an up-sale. It could be that the ultimate goal is to get them into your high-end coaching program or to purchase a large package from you. The goal with all of this is that each funnel has to be designed as a stand-alone item. Then, when you start to look at the big picture, you could have multiple funnels doing multiple things, but the end result is you’re taking all of this stuff and you’re trying to get it out that hole at the bottom.
What is that hole at the bottom? What is the one thing that you really want to sell? Now, with some people, just like in funnel ball, you might throw the ball up and they come out shoot number two, shoot number four, shoot number six, or even shoot number eight. It doesn’t matter which as long as you get people in there and they’re actively doing something, which means that you’ve got the right people in your funnel.
I want you to think about how you can create multiple funnels that talk specifically to different problems that clients may have. Maybe they want to purchase your products or services, but then it leads them to specific solutions. Then, hopefully, you’ll have the opportunity to continue the conversation to guide them towards some more expansive things that you have. A lot of times what I’ve learned is high-ticket items takes a conversation. Maybe the goal is to get them to a point where they trust you enough to get on the phone and have a conversation with you, but you have to design this as a system.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments and maybe some other limiting beliefs you have overcome!